thailand

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Where to Stay in Thailand – Best For Couples, Families, Wildlife & Culture

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With vibrant cities, cultural centres and over 1400 islands to choose from, trying to decide where to stay in Thailand is not easy. But don’t worry, I’ve done all the hard work for you – check out my top picks below.

 

Thailand is one of the world’s most visited countries. Its diversity ensures that no matter what type holiday you seek – you can find it in Thailand. Culture vultures will love the gleaming temples, rice paddies and floating markets, couples will love the endless choice of beachfront hotels and vibrant nightlife, thrill seekers can swim with whale sharks, camp in rainforests and enjoy white water rafting, while families can combine beach time with a magical stay in an ethical elephant camp. Regardless of the type or traveller you are, or what experiences you seek, Thailand’s friendly people will ensure you receive a warm welcome. I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to help you choose where to stay in Thailand. From secluded island resorts to tented camps, I’ve got suggestions for couples, luxury, families, culture and wildlife. 

where to stay in thailand

Tropical Sky offers a wide selection of holidays to Thailand and can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to add on a few nights in bustling Bangkok, or choose to stay for shorter, or longer periods in a particular hotel, talk to the dedicated sales team and they will advise where to stay in Thailand to best suit your requirements.

 

Best for Couples: Koh Yao and Phuket, 10 Nights From €2129 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

This wonderful two-centre holiday combines one of Thailand’s lesser-known islands, Koh Yao, with its most famous, Phuket. You will enjoy five nights in each, staying in completely different, but equally luxurious, 5-star hotels. In Koh Yao you will be staying in one of world’s most unique hotels – TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao. The entrance to your own private tree house is by suspension bridge – can you imagine anything more romantic?

The TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao is surrounded by tropical rainforests, turquoise waters and dramatic limestone cliffs, as well as its own 400-metre secluded beach. You can hire bicycles and explore the island, enjoy water activities including sea kayaking and fishing, relax by your own private pool, or enjoy a wide selection of spa treatments, twice daily yoga classes or Thai cookery classes. 

luxury long haul destinations

Staying in the TreeHouse Villas Koh Yao might seem hard to follow but five nights in a private villa in the 5-star boutique Pavilions Phuket Hotel might just do the trick! Enjoy swimming in privacy in your own private pool, and a choice of dining options from its three award-winning restaurants. Although situated on a quiet side of the island, you can also choose to explore Phuket and some of its vibrant nightlife. However, if rest and relaxation is all you seek, the spa and wellness centre on site will complete this memorable stay.   

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Best for Luxury: Khao Lak and Koh Lanta, 10 Nights From €1769 Including Flights, Hotels  & Transfers  

Situated on a seven-mile stretch of white sand in Khao Lak, with fine dining restaurants and an award-winning spa, the 5-star Sarojin Hotel is the ultimate in luxury – and your home for the first five nights of this magnificent holiday. 

where to stay in Thailand sarojin hotel

Although you may not want to leave, a five-night stay at the adult-only 5-star Layana Resort & Spa will certainly ease your pain. Another superb hotel, in an unspoilt location, it actually won the coveted Top Hotel in Thailand and Best Luxury Hotel in Thailand in 2017. As well as enjoying authentic Thai food, why not try to cook some too? The cooking classes on site are very popular with guests, as is the spa. However make sure you get out and explore the stunning beaches and authentic way of life for which Koh Lanta is renowned.  

multi centre holidays to thailand including koh lanta

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Best for Wildlife & Adventure: Elephant Hills, Khao Lak & Krabi, 12 Nights From €3119 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

This super itinerary sums up Thailand’s diversity in a nutshell. You will start your adventure in the idyllic Sarojin Hotel in the beach resort of Khao Lak – the perfect place to unwind. When you feel fully refreshed you will transfer to Khao Sok National Park for the ultimate wildlife experience. You will be staying in the Elephant Hills ethical tented camp for rescued elephants, where en-suite tents are equipped with double beds. You will enjoy a canoe safari, and have the opportunity to interact with the Asian elephants.
 
where to stay in thailand - elephant hills
 
The following day you will take a long-tail boat ride on Cheow Lake, where you will stay in one of 10 luxury tents floating on the lake. A guided jungle trek and some swimming opportunities complete this experience of a life time.
 
After all that adventure, what better than a five-night stay in the beautiful resort of Krabi. Home to dramatic limestone cliffs, stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters, Krabi is the picture perfect Thai beach resort. There are many hotel options to choose from including the 4-star Holiday Inn Resort or the superbly situated 5-star Rayavadee Krabi. Many choose Krabi as a base for island hopping, so why not choose to visit Koh Phi Phi or James Bond Island too?
 
where to stay in thailand - visit james bond island

 

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Best for Families: Santiburi Hotel Koh Samui, 7 Nights from €4999 based on 2 adults & 2 children sharing 

One of the Thailand’s largest islands Koh Samui is a great choice for a family holiday. For families wondering where to stay in Thailand, the Santiburi Resort is the prefect choice.

Located on a stunning beach, this luxury 5-star hotel has low-rise villas set in tropical gardens. The massive outdoor pool (the largest in Koh Samui), and kids and sports clubs will keep the kids amused all day. There are arts and crafts workshops, cookery lessons, football games and a games room with consoles. The championship 18-hole golf course, the Santiburi Spa, tennis and yoga classes will surely keep the adults happy too. 

all inclusive caribbean resorts for families

There are five dining venues and a choice of accommodation options to choose from, including two-bedroom duplex suites, garden villas and beachfront villas with private pools. The Santiburi Hotel is one of the Leading Hotels of the World – need I say more?

santiburi hotel thailand

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Best for Culture: Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Khao Lak, 11 Nights from €1879 Including Flights, Hotels & Transfers

Combining the bustling city of Bangkok with the charming city of Chang Mai really shows the diversity of Thailand’s two largest cities. After six action-packed days exploring both cities, what better than a five-night stay in the beautiful beach resort of Khao Lak. While offering plenty of time to explore on your own, this enchanting trip also includes half-day tours of Bangkok’s Grand Palace, floating markets and a River Cruise & Temples tour.

floating markets bangkok, thailand holidays

You will also enjoy top hotels throughout your stay. The Rembrandt Hotel & Suites is one of Bangkok’s most popular hotels, and is superbly located in trendy Sukhumvit.  

The Tamarind Village Hotel in Chiang Mai is an oasis located in the heart of Old Chiang Mai City, close to all the historic temples, night bazaar and riverside restaurants – this hotel is located inside the ancient city walls and is one of the best places to stay in Chiang Mai. 

where to stay in chiang mai

Your final stay in the Khao Lak Merlin Resort is the perfect place to unwind. With a choice of dining options and facilities on site, as well as offering stunning views of the Andaman Sea, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your last few days in Thailand at your leisure. 

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These are just a sample of the Thailand holidays that Tropical Sky offer. They can tailor-make any holiday to suit your requirements. If you want to stay for shorter, or longer periods in a particular hotel or visit more Thai islands,  talk to the dedicated sales team and they will advise where to stay in Thailand to best suit your requirements.

 

This post, Where to Stay in Thailand, was sponsored by Tropical Sky. All views, as always, are my own.

Sarah
 
The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery

 
Travel

5 Top Long Haul Holiday Picks in 2018

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I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, the long haul holiday specialists, to bring you five top long haul holiday picks for 2018.

 

If you are looking to try somewhere new, and in search of adventure, then go long haul in 2018.  From South Africa to Sri Lanka, Alaska to Australia, Tropical Sky will have a holiday to suit you. I have selected five of their top long haul holiday picks for 2018, all are recommended hotels and great value. Note all of these holidays are based on seven nights but you can extend your stay or even combine them with another destination. All prices include flights, hotels and transfers so there is no need to worry about adding on extra expense!

top long haul holiday picks

Maldives – Meeru Island Resort & Spa, 1 week, Full Board, €1499!

The Maldives are the islands associated with barefoot luxury, over water bungalows and incredible diving and snorkeling. Meeru Island Resort is the only resort found on the island of Meerufenfushi. Accessible by speed boat from Male (included in the price), you will be surrounded by picture perfect beaches and stunning lagoons. You can choose to spend your days lazing on the beach, take boat trips or even go island hopping. There is a spa and fitness centre in the resort as well as regular beach volleyball, in case you find lazy beach days too relaxing! There are five restaurants to choose from including the Hot Rocks where your meal is cooked in front of you on volcanic rocks.

Tropical Sky is offering a seven night stay on a full board basis, including flights and speed boat transfers from only €1499. If you are looking for some action at the beginning or end of your trip, why not combine this with a few days in Dubai.

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Nashville & New Orleans Tour, 6 Nights, €1279!

Looking to try something different in 2018, check out two of America’s most fascinating cities, New Orleans and Nashville. You will start your tour in Nashville and visit the famous recording studios where Elvis and many famous artists recorded. You will also have the opportunity to see a live country music gig on Broadway.  You will then fly to New Orleans and experience one of the best jazz scenes. Visit the historic streets in the French Quarter, take a boat trip along the Mississippi on a traditional paddle steamer, and enjoy some delicious creole cuisine.

top long haul holiday picks

American Sky is offering a six night tour of Nashville and New Orleans from €1399 including all flights and hotels. Book before the 31st of January and you will save €120 making this only €1279! This tour can also be combined with other American cities. Why not visit Memphis or Chicago and complete the iconic music trail?

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Dubai, 5* All Inclusive at Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate, 4 Nights, €1299!

The worlds tallest building, the world’s largest shopping mall, the world’s only seven star hotel and now the world’s largest indoor theme park! Dubai never settles for anything less than the best! However bars and restaurants in Dubai can be expensive, so this all-inclusive deal in the luxurious 5* Movenpick Ibn Battuta Gate is the perfect way to enjoy this great city. Centrally located with free access to the Riva Beach Club, you can enjoy city life, with the benefits of Dubai’s beaches. There is also a rooftop lap pool if you are not a beach lover. There are nine restaurants to choose from so you don’t need to worry about dining in the same restaurant each night. Families are catered for too with a kids club and play area. If you want to get out and about, the hotel offers a free shuttle bus to the Riva Beach Club and Dubai Parks. For more info on things to do, read the top ten things to do in Dubai.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering a four night all-inclusive stay at the Movenpick Ibn Battuta from only €1299 including flights and transfers. This includes a staggering €500 discount and a room upgrade if booked by the 15th of January!

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Mexico – All Inclusive at the 5* Moon Palace Cancun, 1 week, €1629 with $750 Resort Credit per person

Dine in any of their fifteen restaurants, have cocktails in any of their twelve bars or if you fancy a nightcap on your balcony – enjoy a drink from your well-stocked minibar. All of these are included in the price of your stay! And that’s not all … for a limited time you will get $750 resort credit per person, absolutely free!

The Moon Palace has everything you need on site for an action packed holiday, with numerous sports and entertainment options to choose from. All rooms come with a private balcony and a hammock as well as a double Jacuzzi in the bathroom. Families are well catered for too with family rooms, kids clubs, a kids waterpark. If you fancy a night out, Cancun is only a half hour away and you can also explore the nearby islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujieres. The Moon Palace also happens to be sitting on a stunning white sandy beach, facing the Caribbean Sea, so it’s fair to say you might not want to leave it.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering a seven night, all inclusive stay including flights and transfers from €1629 per person, which includes a €550 discount per person. For a limited time, you will also receive $1500 resort credit per room. Fancy bringing the kids? They have a ‘kids go free’ offer valid from the 22nd of June to 18th of August.

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5* Luxury at Kata Rocks, Phuket, 1 week, B&B, €2049

Kata Rocks has been voted one of the top 25 resorts in Asia by Conde Nast and it is often classed as Phuket’s best luxury resort. Each villa has its own infinity pool with a outdoor sun deck and stunning sea views. Dining is superb with some of the best Thai food on the island as well as an excellent Mediterranean restaurant, which offers a romantic sunset dinner over looking the Andaman sea. The award winning spa offers 30 unique treatments and even children are catered for with a kids club, children’s menu and a choice of two, three and four bedroom villas. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the hotel, the town of Kata is only a short walk away, while Phuket Town or Patong beach are about 20 minutes by taxi.

top long haul holiday picks

Tropical Sky is offering 30% off room rates if booked 60 days in advance as well as children ( under 12 ) dining free when accompanied with a full paying adult. Prices for a a seven night stay on a bed & breakfast basis from €2049 including flights and transfers.

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Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by Tropical Sky but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

 

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Long HaulTravel

5 Ultimate Luxury Holidays With Free Upgrades And Exclusive Offers

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From Mexico to the Maldives, Barbados to Thailand, check out my top luxury holidays with free upgrades and exclusive offers.

 

I have teamed up with Tropical Sky to bring you some of the best luxury holidays for less. Want all-inclusive hotels where spa treatments, tours and golf are included? Fancy an over water bungalow in the Maldives with an upgrade to full board? Maybe a free upgrade to a jacuzzi suite in Thailand or perhaps up to 50% off in Sandals Barbados… These are just some of the amazing luxury holidays on offer with Tropical Sky.

 

Hurawalhi Island Resort – Maldives

From €2409 with seaplane transfers for seven nights.

The Maldives are probably one of the world’s most romantic destinations. Over water bungalows, pristine white sandy beaches and an underwater paradise, it is not surprising that the barefoot luxury of the Maldives is on everyone’s bucketlist. Hurawalhi Island is a picture postcard island resort that encapsulates the image of the Maldives. Complete with the world’s largest undersea restaurant and over water bungalows that lead right into the crystal clear waters of the lagoon, it is an adults-only paradise island. There are plenty of other restaurants to choose from it you want to eat above sea level, as well as an infinity pool, a luxury spa and a host of watersports. Watch the sunset from the Coco bar or the Champagne Pavillion and if you fancy a lively night, there is a choice of evening entertainment including live music and even a disco!

Tropical Sky are offering a free upgrade to full board when staying in an Ocean Villa, Ocean Sunset Villa, Ocean Pool Villa & Ocean Sunset Pool Villa, if you travel from the 1st of November to the 30th of April and book before the 31st October. Prices start at €3589 in one of only 15 luxurious ocean villas which are nestled in stilts over the water ❤️ This includes a saving of €1000 per person and includes flights, seaplane transfers and accommodation on full board basis.

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The Paradise Koh Yao – Thailand

From €1039 on a bed & breakfast basis in a jacuzzi studio for seven nights.

If you are looking for one of Thailand’s best kept secrets – you found it! Koh Yao No is located an hour by boat from bustling Phuket, yet world’s apart. This romantic hideaway is perfect for anyone looking to experience unspoilt Thailand without breaking the bank. With stunning views over Phang Nga Bay, this is where you will enjoy lazy beach days with your loved one. There is also a large infinity pool, twice daily open air yoga classes and a host of watersports available.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive offer of a free upgrade to a jacuzzi studio, yes your own private jacuzzi in your room! You will also receive 1 hour spa aromatherapy treatment for two per stay, if booked by the 31st of October. And that’s not all, if you book 60 days before arrival you can save an additional 20% discount on the hotel cost! Prices from €1039 on a bed & breakfast basis in a jacuzzi studio.

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Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah

From €879 on a half board basis for six nights

Only an hour from Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, or ‘Rak’, has white sandy beaches, desert dunes and rugged mountains. Explore the ‘Omani Fjords’ on a traditional dhow, visit a Bedouin desert camp or see ‘Rak’ by gyrocopter at the Jazirah Aviation Club. The Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah was inspired by Arabian palaces and the building is an architectural masterpiece. It’s location is perfect too. Situated on it’s own private beach it also has the luxury of a dramatic mountain backdrop, an 18 hole golf course and the Arabian Gulf, all visible from the hotel. The interior also has the wow factor. The stylish décor compliments the five star service and facilities on offer. There is a wide selection of international restaurants and bars to choose from, a luxury spa, golf course and swimming pool. Check out the short video below and you will see why it is rated number 1 on tripadvisor.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive offer of a free upgrade to half board with free airport transfers if you book by the 31st of October. You can also avail of a free upgrade to a sea view junior suite with balcony, if you book by the 9th of October.  Prices from €879 for a six night stay in June.

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UNICO – Mexico

From €2099 on a premium all-inclusive basis for seven nights.

Imagine staying in an all inclusive hotel with spa treatments and golf included, where you can take Mayan jungle tours, sailing trips or swim with dolphins, and just pay a 20% service fee. UNICO 20°87°’ differs from other luxury hotels because of their unique all-inclusive offering. With personal training sessions, spa treatments, water-sports and incredible tours included in the price, this is an all-inclusive resort like no other. All you pay is a 20% service tax – see a full list of inclusions here. UNICO 20°87° is a brand new adult-only luxury hotel, located on a stunning beach and is the best hotel in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, according to tripadvisor. It’s contemporary décor manages to incorporate traditional Mexican style with lavish furnishings. They also offer unique cultural experiences, including cookery classes and a cocktail hour in a nearby Mayan village. There are three swimming pools, a wide variety of dining options as well as a luxury spa and yoga and exercise classes on the beach. Rooms are not standard either, choose an Alcoba swim up pool room or a room with an ocean view and an outdoor spa tub. You even have your own personalised Anfitrión, or host, available 24 hours a day.

Tropical Sky have an exclusive saving of €200 per person with unlimited select spa and beauty treatments included in the all-inclusive package (20% tax paid locally). Prices from €2,099 per person for seven night stay on an all-inclusive basis.

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Sandals Resort, Barbados

From €2379 on a premium all-inclusive basis for seven nights.

Barbados is one of my favourite Caribbean islands. It’s combination of amazing beaches, UNESCO world heritate sites and vibrant nightlife means there is something here for everyone to enjoy. It’s cosmopolitan population means you are as likely meet an Irish man behind the bar as a Bajan. In multicultural Barbados, anything goes. Read my Barbados blog for more info.

Sandals Barbados is the ultimate couples only resort. The unique all-inclusive offering includes unlimited fine dining in eleven different restaurants with your choice of premium branded drinks from seven bars. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, Sandals also offer unlimited scuba diving and other water sports included in the price of your stay. It’s location close to the lively St Lawrence Gap gives you the option to pop into town if you fancy trying one of Barbados’ legendary street parties.

For a limited time Tropical Sky have a staggering 50% off at Sandals Barbados. Price for flights, transfers and a deluxe room on a premium all-inclusive basis is €2379 in November, €2629 in April, May or June or €2789 in July and August.

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Why not start your luxury holidays in style, by flying business class. Go one better and enjoy a free upgrade to first class when you purchase a business class ticket with British Airways to Mexico, Canada or the USA. Travel by 31st December.

 

Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. This post was sponsored by TropicalSky but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Sarah

The Travel Expert

 

 

Long Haul

Phuket, Thailand, 9th May, 1 week, Flights & 4* Hotel B&B €839!

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Thailand is exotic, cultural and exciting all at once, and the island of Phuket has all three in abundance.

Once seen as a honeymoon paradise, Phuket has evolved and is now the busiest of Thailand’s tropical islands. It is also the largest island and certainly is the most diverse. You can choose to lounge on a beach all day and enjoy some spa treatments or party all night in one of Patong’s shall we say ‘lively’ bars. Although still a tropical paradise there are numerous things to do here. A trip to one of the neighbouring islands, Phi Phi being the most popular or a visit to the old town of Phuket, with it’s quirky streets will not disappoint. It is also a great place to chill out after a trip to bustling Bangkok or elephant trekking in Chang Mai.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about honeymoon destinations

Sunway Holidays offer many holiday options in Thailand and at very competitive prices. I have chosen the Old Phuket Karon . Ideally situated this 4* hotel is across the road from the beach and close to many bars and restaurants in the resort centre. It is a perfect choice for those looking for some relaxation yet within easy access of Patong, which is only 15 minutes away. This resort has also received a certificate of excellence on tripadvisor. Facilities on site include two swimming pools, two bars, four restaurants and a fitness centre.

Fly from Dublin on the 9th of May and spend seven nights here for only €839 per person. This price includes flights, taxes and checked baggage.  Mix it up a little and spend four nights in Phuket and three nights in the Phi Phi islands for only €1049. You can also add on a city break in Bangkok or an elephant trek in ChangMai, the choice is yours….

Click here for more details:

 

All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. This post was sponsored by Sunway but all views as always are my own 😃

 

Sarah

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Top Ten Holiday Destinations in 2016

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With the recession well and truly over and Dublin airport celebrating their best ever year in 2015, travel agents and airlines are predicting that 2016 will be even better. So where are the hot spots?

 

It looks like old favourites such as Spain and Portugal will be the most attractive short haul holiday destinations in 2016. Although France will be busy for Euro 2016, many families who enjoyed their Summer holiday camping in France, may decide to switch to campsites near Salou in Spain or Lake Garda in Italy. Cuba, Mexico and Thailand will prove popular for long haul travel as the poor exchange rate with the US dollar is unlikely to change. Here are my top ten holiday destinations in 2016!

Majorca & Menorca

To put it simply, Irish people love Spain! Almost 1.5 million Irish holiday makers visited Spain this year and this is sure to grow again in 2016. The Balearic island of Majorca is constantly one of the favourites. The mixture of family resorts, lively nightlife and stunning scenery is a great combination and ensures Majorca offers something for everyone.

Direct flights to  Menorca were reintroduced last year from Ireland and proved to be a great success. So much so, that an extra flight from Cork has been added for 2016. This smaller and less commercialised island oozes character and is the perfect choice for families looking for a quiet, relaxing holiday in safe surroundings.

Menorca, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

 

Lake Garda

Although always popular from Ireland, I believe many families will switch from France to Lake Garda this year making the popular Italian resort busier than ever. There are direct flights to Verona and the nearby resort of Peschiera offers plenty of campsite and hotel options. The fact that the award winning themepark,  Gardaland is on it’s doorstep, will add to it’s popularity.

Lake Garda, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Thailand

Thailand still offers fantastic value for money for a longhaul destination. There are numerous flights via the UK, Dubai and mainland Europe to Bangkok and Phuket. A one week package is circa €800 including flights and hotel, proving to be a great option for those looking for a touch of exotic, without the expensive price tag.

Thailand, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Athens & the Greek Islands

Always great value for money and appealing to everyone, the Greek islands will continue to be popular in 2016. There are direct flights to Zakynthos, Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and Kos and extra flights to Athens with Ryanair and Aegean air. This should open up Athens as a top city break destination and allow the bucket list destinations of Santorini and Mykonos to be serviced for the first time.

Santorini, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Algarve

Another Irish favourite, the Algarve has almost twenty flights per week in the peak Summer months. The low priced airfares mixed with numerous resort options, will ensure that the Algarve will attract many Irish visitors in 2016.

Algarve, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Mexico

June 2016 will bring the first direct flights to Mexico for many years. The Thomson dreamliner aircraft will fly every fortnight to Cancun from Dublin and is bound to attract couples and honeymooners looking for the luxury all inclusive holiday resort.

Mexico, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Iceland

WOW air introduced flights to Reykjavik in 2015 which proved a great success. People chased the Northern lights and swam in the Blue Lagoon, with lots of positive reviews. It looks like Iceland will remain popular in 2016 for weekend breaks and as a holiday destination.

Iceland, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Cuba

Diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba are at an all time high and it is likely that more and more Americans will travel to Cuba over the coming years. Many people feel they such see it before it receives the Disney effect! For this reason and the fact that there is more disposable income around, Cuba looks like it could attract many Irish holidaymakers looking to travel long haul in 2016.

Cuba, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Croatia

For those looking for somewhere a little different but still close to home, Croatia will be a top choice. The stunning city of Dubrovnik and the introduction of flights to Zadar and Pula will ensure that there are plenty of options for Irish holidymakers in 2016. The proximity to Lonely Planet’s top destination to visit in 2016 (Kotor in Montenegro) will also add to the appeal.

Dubrovnik, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

Dubai

With four direct flights every day, it is almost impossible to avoid seeing this world class holiday destination on travel agency windows and media outlets, all offering amazing deals to Dubai. With the loss of direct flights to Egypt and Tunisia, Dubai is also an excellent alternative for anyone looking for some Winter / Spring sunshine.

Dubai, one of the top ten holiday destinations for 2016 by The Travel Expert

 

So where will you be travelling to in 2016? If I left out your favourite, please comment below 🙂

 

Sarah

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Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

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We all have different tastes and budgets, so I think it is fair to say that there are no perfect honeymoon destinations that suit everyone – well maybe Bora Bora…

 

Lets face it, if we had unlimited holidays and unlimited cash, we would probably all like to stay in a beach villa in the South Pacific. However, being realistic, we need to remember not everyone can take three weeks off to travel the world, and many of us have limited means. You also have to make sure to check the weather before you book, as it could be the rainy or even hurricane season in your dream honeymoon destination. Here are my top  honeymoon destinations – there should be one here to suit you.

 

 

 

1. Short on time – The Amalfi Coast

top 10 honeymoon destinations

For those of you who only don’t have lots of annual leave available, a week in Italy is the perfect choice. Stay in a deluxe hotel in Positano or Ravello and live like a celebrity. Visit the isle of Capri, take water taxis along the coast and soak up the Italian atmosphere.  Bellisimo!

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2. Short on cash – Greece

top 10 honeymoon destinations

I love the Greek islands and if you are getting married during the summer months, then Greece is a great choice. Swim with turtles in the turquoise waters of Zakynthos, explore the hilltop town of Lindos in Rhodes, or chill out in a five-star hotel in Crete. I stayed in a luxury hotel near Chania and loved it.

Read my review of Anemos Luxury Grand Resort.

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3. Like All Inclusive? –  Cancun.

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you want a luxury hotel with all meals and drinks included, then Cancun is best for value. Cancun is perfect for anyone who wants to be pampered, without moving too far from your hotel.  Many honeymooners feel exhausted after the wedding, so all-inclusive holidays suit perfectly. You could however, mix it up a little and add in a few days in New York or Vegas on the way back….

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4. Play it safe! – The Maldives

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you want pure luxury, idyllic beaches and want to wear flip flops for the week, the Maldives is for you. It is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations, but can still be affordable. Combine with Dubai for a great combination of city and beach.

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5. Tick all boxes – Island hopping in the Caribbean.

top 10 honeymoon destinations

This is a great choice for couples who primarily want a beach holiday, but want a bit of adventure thrown in. Barbados, The Grenadines, St Lucia and the Cayman Islands, it’s hard to believe they are all so close  – yet so different. If you don’t fancy to much packing and unpacking, try a Caribbean cruise and see them all on day trips!

Read about my stay in the Maldives here

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6. Like adventure? – South Africa

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South Africa is one of my favourite honeymoon destinations. It is the perfect place to mix adventure with beach time. Drive the garden route, go whale watching, take in a safari, explore Cape Town and finish off your honeymoon by chilling out on a wine estate.

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7. Road trip? – California

top 10 honeymoon destinations

There is nothing like the wind in your hair as you drive the Pacific Coast highway in a convertible. Combine San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, and if  you have three weeks to spare, try to take in the national parks too. Drive from LA to Scottsdale, on to Vegas before hitting Death Valley and Yosemite. From there drive to San Francisco and hit the pacific coast highway back to LA. For a two week trip, make it simple, fly to San Francisco and drive the PCH to San Diego. 

Read the best places to stop on the Pacific Coast Highway.

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8. Adrenaline Junkies – Florida

top 10 honeymoon destinations

Surprisingly this is a really popular honeymoon choice. If you are looking for non-stop action, then Florida is hard to beat. Mix it up a little and combine with New York or Vegas, or why not add on a Caribbean cruise?

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9. A bit more exotic – Thailand

top 10 honeymoon destinations

Thailand is one of the most popular honeymoon destinations. Choose to relax on one of its many beaches or choose to combine a stay in Bangkok and Thailand’s cultural centre, Chiang Mai. Opt for five-star glamping in the Elephant Hills Camp, go island hopping in the Andaman Sea, or shop till you drop in Bangkok. Who says you can’t do it all?   

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10. The world is your oyster – Australia

top 10 honeymoon destinations

If you have plenty of time on your hands, and plenty of cash – then it has to be Australia! See the sights in Sydney, marvel at Ayers Rock and explore the world’s most impressive underwater paradise at the Great Barrier Reef. There is actually so much to see and do in Australia – way to many to mention! And if you manage to tour this massive continent and still want some more action – hop over to New Zealand…

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Sarah

 

The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery
 

 

 

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